Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tuesday September 11, 2012

Moments before I wake up I am dreaming that I, naked but for a leopard skin wrapped around my loins, am swinging vine by vine through the Amazon jungle, an unconscious female tucked securely under one arm while I ward off attacking apes and yell gut ripping manly-man roars. Me King of the Jungle!

When I opened my eyes, I wasn’t standing high on a tree platform having coffee with Jane but my hotel window was open and I listened with pleasure to the endless birdsong of tropical cavity nesters. I laid there in my king sized bed, snuggled into my sheets of starched white cotton from Egypt, and took several minutes to appreciate my good fortune; Kevin Nichol, a farm boy from Ymir BC,  waking up in the Amazon. Go figure.

Sunrise found me showered and dressed with our entourage on our way to the Brazilian consulate applying for work visas. 
Visa Making 101
We returned to our hotel until around 1 pm and I took advantage of the time for some final packing and one last walk around town.  Breakfast consisted of fruit and vegetables from the local market, not all of which I recognized.
Brazil/Argentina Border Crossing at Iguazu
When our visas arrived, we crossed the Brazilian border by bus and toured the world famous Iguacu falls.  I shall try to paint my readers a picture with words but if that fails, look at my pictures!

Iguacu falls is a scenic goldmine, which I suspect, is the reason that Argentina and Brazil both wanted a piece of it.  The wide Rio Iguaco snakes for 600 km before it drops off of 80 meter high shelves of prehistoric lava  to the river bottom below.  Tourist guides say that these falls are higher than Niagra and wider than Victoria falls and “more beautiful than either”, and I agree.


We paid our fare at the gates and took a bus 11 km through the jungle to the falls.  Long nosed raccoons wandered rampantly on the sides of the road and warnings on the loud speakers warned us not to eat in front of them. As we offloaded and walked down to the first of many viewpoints, the river gradually over-powered our voices with a thunderous roar which only got louder.  Meandering down the 1.2 km trail, we stopped often for photo opportunities and to admire the local flora and fauna. There were numerous species of butterflies and moths, many in swarms around mud puddles and landing on us for photos.  The closer we got to the waterfalls, the more mist we encountered and by the time I came to the end of the walkway I was happily soaked. 


There is something powerful about this waterfall… millions of gallons of water in its natural migration from the mountains to the sea; and there like a drive-in movie, it shows it’s natural beauty and its unstoppable power in the biggest concert I have ever been to.

When we finished admiring the Iguacu falls, we got back on our way, stopping at the Foz do Iguacu airport, where we will fly to Sao Paolo for the night.
I have just arrived. Sao Paulo is a LARGE city with just over 11 million surrounding me. Talk about a busy airport! Its 11 pm and I am off to bed as my alarm is set for 3:45 AM to catch an early flight to Brazilia and then on to Maraba where a private jet will take us to an airstrip at our final destination, minus our luggage. All is well!  :)

A Coati, also known as a Brazilian Aardvark. Lots of them down here!